3 days in a row I did 3km in 30 minutes. I am mighty proud of myself because after spending more than RM10k in the last 2 years to help me do just that, I did this without any help. The lesson learnt is if you’re not ready to do it, you won’t do it. The mind set has to be there and you must WANT to do it. And you must want it bad enough.
My inspiration? Eileen Lui of Myanmar who does pyschotic hours of training (something like 21km every other day?). Yup. Who in their right mind has enough discipline to wake up at 4am before work to run or swim or cycle, this woman does all that. And then she goes to work. And then she spends her time with our wonderful Children of Myanmar at the weekends. To aspire and to inspire. What is really important in this lifetime?
Recently, the Myanmar kids wrote their proposals to us what they wanted to do with their lives and why they would want scholarships to learn at the vocations of their choice. We initially decided that we would select some key students who had the potential to go for further education with our support but after reading their letters (which I will post here later when I have more time), we cried and decided that they were ALL going to get this same opportunity for education. This is all led by Eileen, my friend whom I am honoured to know, and Lynette, my friend who linked Eileen to our lives.
Life is good.
I have quite a few DJ friends and to be honest, I’ve never really considered being a DJ myself but in line with forever learning, I am now willing to learn all about what it takes to be a good DJ! When I was in the midst of organising the Children of Myanmar event, I realised how I was lacking in skills as I did not know what a sound system comprised, how it worked, and how it was put together. I did not know what was good and what was bad and had to call upon these DJs to query. Now, if you wanted to ask me where to get some affordable vestax mixers, I can direct you immediately to the right place!
Last weekend, I had a meeting in Damansara Uptown and I swear I was dreading it. 10 years ago, my car got broken into right there and all my belongings were stolen. DU is not an area I frequent of late because I have no reason to go so this time round when I went, I went with a lot of prayers with me!
Thankfully, I came out fine. It was the day before elections and it was quiet. But no matter, crime can happen anywhere as experienced by the poor lady who went jogging around Jalan Gasing. It cost her her life. It cost her daughter an eternal nightmare.
At exactly 2am one morning just a few weeks ago, my boss from the UK got beaten up in Changkat Raja Chulan wallking home from the Havana Bar to the Maple Suite. It is only a 100 meter walk, no point catching a taxi, yet on that unfortunate morning, he got given a big blow on the head, passed out and woke up 3 hours later in the middle of nowhere, blood on his hands with his clothes and shoes drenched in water from head to toe. The buggers had spiked his drinks whilst he was at another bar and because of this, he remembers nothing. All he knows is that he didn’t know where he was and he was soaking wet from head to toe. A kind taxi driver asked him if he was OK as he was bleeding from the eye and the head and sent him home for free. His watch and wallet were gone.
When I saw him the next day, I was in shock. Horrified that something so bad happened to my own boss, sad that it has happened in my own country and disgusted that they had to beat him up for nothing. If they had just asked, he would have given them everything. I blame the damn Government for this, for not having good fair control over the country.
To make things worst, this same night formed the arrival of 2 new expat staff in the company so can you imagine the impression on them? They are in KL for their first night ever and the next morning they see their own boss beaten up to black. How embarrassing!!! I offered to take him to the hospital and to the police station and guess what? All the expats said not to waste their time. They have no faith at all in the Malaysian system and this again is because the system has already failed so many people that they no longer have any regard for it.
So sad. Truly so sad.
And after the elections, I am even sadder. We just need to educate all the ignorant and all the below average intelligence people in the ulu kampungs. What a gigantonormous task. No wonder people migrate, it just seems so much easier.
If you were a musician and wanted to get a sound system, you should check out the Presonus range of products. If you are in the entertainment business or events organisation, you would definitely come across this line of exchange but if you were an accountant through and through then of course, you won’t. However, if you were a learned person who thirsts for knowledge in any form and possess a great attitude to life, you will undoubtedly gain an abundance of knowledge for in your quest in helping others, you will learn. And that is why, despite being a Stay At Home Mom, some Moms are walking encyclopedias. True story.
It must be said again for my incredible team, the very ones who backed me up in organising MAD Project Myanmar, that an incredible amount of hours went into it. Firstly, the fact that we all held full time jobs made it very, very difficult already to meet, discuss, organise, and actually have time TO DO!!!
The initial idea was sparked by brainwave Money Tree Sri Hartamas owner, Ms Money Penny in December 2012 but of course, the Christmas and Chinese New Year holidays completely threw us off and nothing was done till February. So in actual fact, we had close to 2 months of random organising activities happening between the 3 of us – Money Penny, Val and myself.
Money Penny runs the Money Tree, a Financial Literacy Learning Centre for Children at Sri Hartamas. The courses that she has for kids are amazing. I wish I had learnt all about money and everything that goes around it when I was a kid. Never too late so we’ve been bugging her to start courses for adults. Penny is also passionate about property investments and helping the less fortunate kids.
Val is a professional Story Teller (kid’s story telling) and a professional English Language Consultant. She also has 2 boys and a dog, and bakes some mean cookies.
Me? Well, I work full time for a very niche industry, I blog at Mamapumpkin that makes me a tidy side income, and I raise my 2 girls.
Between the 3 of us, we had exactly 3 face-to-face meetings and the rest of the organisation was done via WhatsApp and emails as each of us divided our individual tasks between ourselves.
Towards the last week before the event, we roped in 2 kids to help us with the MAD logo design and physical labour to pull everything together. We had the support of Lynette, Shen and Suzanne (all big supporters of the Children of Myanmar and all 3 who’ve been to see the kids in Myanmar first hand) who helped us out on our last day before the event and on event day itself.
The task was phenomenal. Designing the MAD logo, designing the bag, ordering the bags, designing the trophy, ordering the trophy, picking it up, searching for sponsorships to fill the goody bags and to award the winners with prizes…………… (and before I forget, THANK YOU JACSS for the MPH Book Vouchers for the 3 big winners!!! I assure you they have made full use of them and LOVED THEM!!!)………………., finding a venue to host the event, organising with venue landlord in organising the event, working within space and rule constraints, taking orders for participants, liaising and communicating with participants, administrating participants, collecting money for the table bookings and coordinating the mechanism of the competition for the days sales, designing the certificates, printing them, finding a photographer, designing the buntings and posters, organising them for print, coordinating with all the sponsors, printing vouchers on behalf of some of our sponsors, dealing with the press, buying photo frames and other items we needed for the event, organising balloons, picking them up, organising lunch for the participants, collecting them, sourcing for a PA system because the event venue did not have one…….oh, trust me, there was just TONS to do.
And not only was it a monumental task organising the event on top of our DAY JOBS (of which demanded at least 10-12 hours of me daily during the week!), some of us still had kids to care for on any normal day AND Val and I had our kids participating too!!! What the heck did this mean??? It meant we had to supervise our kids for their participation too!!! For example, Val’s kid sold cookies. Well, baking cookies took even more of Val’s time!!! At one point, we were about to have mental breakdowns!!
It was just CRAZY and I’ve only now just recuperated from it. I guess that means it took me a month. Soon, we will send out the post mortem forms – well, give me a break. Better late than never, right? So I hope those of you who are blog readers WILL make an effort to fill out those forms so we know how we can make next year’s event bigger and better.
Here are some behind the scenes shots of our journey the day before:
Penny coordinating with some of our sponsors and designing the sales sheets for the participants.
The MAD bags that Penny so kindly sponsored for the kids to take home. Thank you too to the printer and maker of the MAD bags who gave this to us at cost. It’s a great cotton bag! Thank you to Mel and Shen for filling the bags.
Lynette (whom I’ve known for almost 30 years) sharing a light moment with Val. In the background are Mel and Shen unwrapping the photo frames to be ready for framing the Children of Myanmar’s art work.
Val explaining to her husband why she would be late that night……
Shen cutting out table numbers
The certificates that Val’s husband spent hours through the wee hours of the morning designing, put together from all the Children of Myanmar’s art work along the border. These certificates took about half an hour to print each due to spooling large files.
At midnight the 7th April 2013, the tables were ready!
Deciding where the stage should go and where the projector screen was best placed after midnight after which I went home to put together the slide show which cost me to finally put my head down to sleep at 4.30am only to wake at 7.30am to pack everything out and head out for event day!
10am and we were ready for business!!! (exactly 24 hours after we started work the previous day)
We raised RM27,000 – about RM7,000 came from T1′s table as she had some very generous sponsors.
All in all, a job well done and we were extremely pleased with the result because this only meant RM27,000 more to the Children of Myanmar and in following posts, I will share with you exactly how this money will be used for their education since we are practically done with renovating their homes to make them livable.
Thank you to all my friends who came, thank you to all of your who donated money whether you were there or not, THANK YOU for all your support in this project supporting the Children of Myanmar.
And after all this, there were still people who had the nerve to wonder if we were really sending the money to Myanmar…..people who had complaints about the event yet complained behind my back and not to my face. Sigh. Why?
On a Sunday morning, T1 dragged us out at 7.45am to join her school mates for this walk for water organised by Aveda to supply clean water to the villagers in Mantanani, Sabah. Man…….this girl has so many activities, our weekends are never-ending filled with all sorts of activities!
The story goes that she would get some extra marks for her Geography if she attended this walk. See how competitive they are at school? So I asked her what she got for Geography – 96%. Then why do you want some more points???
Oh, it’s a social thing…….so we went just to make our little one happy.
Now I know the real reason why she wanted to go. To lead the boys!!! She is exactly like me, my T1, one of the boys……
The Walk for Water began and some people carried pails of water whilst they walked, exactly how T1′s Geography teacher made them do at school several weeks ago because this semester, they’re learning all about water.
Some cool down exercises after the Walk. Streeeeee…..tch!
And a big cheer for a walk well done. This is T1′s Geography teacher. So grateful she has an awesome teacher.
I remember all those arguments that I’d had with the Hubs about sending his precious super tiny T2 to school. He always felt she was too tiny and was protective about people pushing her into the drain (LOLOL!!!) and I always felt I just wanted her OUT of the house as early as possible and kept telling him that despite her size, SHE’D be bossing everyone around and pushing THEM into the drain instead, being the little terrorist that she is.
The day finally came this year and boy, was she so ready for school. She adjusted within the day (unlike T1 who took an entire YEAR!) and loves going to school. No separation anxiety issues at all and she’s all smiles going and coming back from school. She looks up so much to her big sister and poor lass, she is always wanting to become like her big sister.
She finally got her chance to go to school AND have her first Sports Day, just like her big sister, and it was SO MUCH FUN.
She first had to do a March Past……at 3, it was rather a walk past than a march past, but hilariously, the 2 year olds would just walk or toddle anywhere they fancied and not follow the march past direction so you would see teachers running randomly across the grass to direct them back to their lines. So cute!
Then she had to do a dance aerobic kind of performance to music and because we sat at the back, she kept looking back at us and sticking her tongue out! Where she learnt that from I have no idea. So yup, she’d do her moves then every 10 seconds, turn and gave us the tongue. How she managed to remember where she left off was quite impressive. Just copy what everyone else is doing, haha……
Last but not least, she participated in her tele-match race, here waiting her turn…..
She had to run with a ball, jump into a hoop, jump out of it, jump into another hoop then throw the ball into the basket. Then she had to pick up the ball and do the same thing back. Too damn cute.
Unlike her sister who has a string of Gold Medals (and who’s even asked for her own Medal Cabinet!!!), T2 eagerly awaited her Silver Medal here. At least at this age, they do not know the difference between what a gold and silver is or she’d be asking for that medal cabinet too.
Admiring her first Sports Day Medal.
Well done, my little T2. We love you so much!
Losing like a Champ
I’m naturally a very competitive person, not in getting my kids to get ahead of the rest, but I believe that if you were to do something, then do it REALLY well. Give it your best shot. T1 has obviously inherited this trait from me, perhaps even more so.
For the first few years of her schooling life, she has always wanted to win. And win she has in all her Sports Days, coming home with Gold Medals year after year thus far. She hasn’t faired too far off in all other areas of her schooling life either. All in all, she’s going to school, having fun and doing what other 8 year olds do. Average Joe, yet knowing that she is a winner in many areas.
However, now that she is in Upper Primary, she’s been forced back down to Earth. Everything is suddenly that much tougher. Last weekend, T1 had her Sports Day where she had to swim in a tele-match team event where every other swimmer was 1-2 years older (and taller!). Her team didn’t have the strongest of swimmers either so not only was her team last, she was the last swimmer for her team!
She had to swim the length of the pool, get out of it, run to the board to complete a jigsaw puzzle, and then jump back into the pool again to swim back across. The fact is, although her team was SO far behind, one could decide that it was no longer worth finishing, or just finishing it for the sake of finishing it, yet my girl, she did her absolute best in not only finishing the race ALONE in the pool, but finishing it as fast as she could! How low my morale would have been if I had been her, yet I saw the urgency in her face when she ran back to the pool after fixing that last piece of the jigsaw, and jumped in as though she was racing against some imaginary swimmers. And by the time she came out, she was panting yet all smiles!
Even though she was last, like wayyyyyyyyyy last and had to do this alone whilst the entire school watched/waited.
And I must add that I was even more proud of her to be last than all the firsts she has ever achieved. Because it does take some true spirit to still walk tall when you’re last.
You would imagine that being in an open air vehicle such as the trucks that transport us in Myanmar are more exhilarating for boys yet my girls, they loves these dangerous, outdoorsy kind of bumpy vehicles whereas their Queen Mama, would much prefer luxuriating in a smooth bumpless ride in a Rolls Royce.
So yesterday, we happened to have to go through these very high bumps somewhere in KL and for some reason, the bumps were only allowed for one wheel at any one time, so the car would always be lopsided and then BUMP down, and the girls were bopping from side to side with their heads bouncing about as well but they were having a ball of a time laughing out loud. I thought we were in an amusement park ride!
At this rate, I’m planning our world tour holidays more around locations that have the rides of an atv or a utv or even a hunting UTV because after all, aren’t holidays meant for incredible FUN??? They can leave me to go shopping or I’d be very happy snuggled up with my book in the hotel room. Quite seriously. The Hubs can take them, after all, just last night, I was moaning to him why it is always ME who has to deal with all the shitty work whilst all he does is Go To Work. Work is easy. Why can’t he deal with the kids instead for once or worse, deal with immigration officers or other stupid people that we have to deal with that make my blood temperature sky rocket and indirectly affect my health.
So at this point, I am unsure how the Hubs feels about riding on a Hunting UTV but if age is anything to go by, then yeah, he totally deserves it. For if he loves it, then it would surely be unfair to put that as punishment, right? We are a fair family. Same sufferings, same rewards.
Because I am such an extremely busy woman, most of my quality time with the kids is spent in the car whilst I am their driver. T1 on her observation on the election flags:
T1: Mommy, the trees are PAS, the sky is BN and the best is DAP, all the colourful cars around us.
One day, I was busy with work (as always) and T2 was being a pest around me asking me a million and one things and I could not concentrate. You know how it is, when you’re writing or reading an intense contract, the key is focus and I just couldn’t focus with that little voice asking so many things. Eventually, Kakak called her over:
Kakak: T2!!! Apa you buat??? Don’t disturb Mami. Mari sini lipat baju.
T2: Me tak mahu lipat baju….(and scrunge her little face up in disapproval)
My little T2 just loves going out. I’m not sure why she loves going out. The Hubs and I, we love staying home! But this girl is happiest when she’s out and about. The other day when I was on leave, I’d brought her out for almost an entire day – exhausting for me. We went to do Mommy’s exercise class, then had a Japanese lunch with a business associate, then met up briefly with Nana as Mommy had to pass something to a new member of staff and Nana happened to be at the same location, then went to school to pick Che-Che up, then had dinner at the Daily Grind and Boost Juice for dessert. When we got home, T1 flung her arms in the air and exclaimed super dramatically, “Ahhhh……today was such a FUN day, Mama!!!”
One thing that drives me completely ballistic is when T2 runs up and down the corridor we have at home because there is a glass shelf filled with books and I am terrified of her accidentally falling into it or just tripping over herself and falling flat onto our marble flooring. It is not uncommon to hear me yelling in my home, “T2, please WALK!!! WALK!!! I said WALK!!!”
And you will hear this over and over because these kids, they have selected hearing. Or maybe their ears are just SO filled with wax and God knows what else, that they fail to listen. I don’t know. I haven’t had time to check.
But one fine day after my screaming at her to W….A….L….K……, she stopped in her tracks and started walking slow motion like the running man robot and proudly announced, “Mama, look. I’m walking. I’m walking…..”,
It was definitely done to M.O.C.K. me.
One of my de-stressors every day is to play Scramble just before I knock off. Sometimes I do this at whim but yeah, I’m a Scramble addict and my kids KNOW this. They know that if they so much as whimper a single sound whilst Mama is on her iphone playing a round of Scramble, they would be dead. In a flash. Dead.
So every time now when I’m on my Scramble game, there would be dead silence but the moment the game is over and the Scramble game recording cheers and claps, my T2 will excitedly ask, “Mama win?? Did you win???”
Then she would quickly pull my phone towards her sight to double check my win as my head on the game will start shaking from side to side like a true Indian and T2 would go, “Awwwwww……..Mama win!!! I’m so proud of you, Mama……”
Nice to know someone is. Proud of me, that is.
In the past, we’ve given away so many toys. 6 XL sized large black garbage bags filled to the brim with toys to the Lighthouse kids. Bags and bags of soft toys to some other kids. So I don’t understand why we still have SO MANY TOYS!!! I don’t even BUY toys. Yish. People keep giving us toys.
So recently, I’ve hinted to the kids that we were going to do another big give-away. They hardly even play with all these toys. It’s like, there’s just too much to choose from, you know? There are so many kids who would appreciate these toys much, much more. Besides, my kids are always playing make believe and pretend and making up their own silly willy games anyway so who needs toys?
But as soon as I said let’s start packing up, T2 was quick to defend her toys, “No, Mama! You cannot give away our toys because they won’t fit in the car. There is too much toys. Can’t fit. Better to keep them here la…..” Her English is still quite kokak but what to do, we set her a bad example at home; although we’ve explained to her the difference between many and much and the ones and las but she chooses to think we’re the idiots instead.
One day, whilst we were at a playdate and T2 and her friend were playing with umbrellas, her friend’s umbrella broke and could not close. Hard as the two little 3 year olds tried, they were getting frustrated that they were going to get wet. Pretend wet. But still, pretend wet was still a very serious matter.
So I offered to fix it for them. It was a simple task of putting the fabric loop back onto one of the metal pins but 3 year old fine motor skills didn’t quite cut it. Voila! I returned the umbrella back to her friend who just took it and looked at it to check if this aunty had indeed fixed it. What a miracle! T2 was quick to quip to my surprise, “Can you please say THANK YOU, AUNTY!!!” in an authoritative tone to her friend which I thought was hilarious.
T2 and her plenty excuses…..this girl talks so much you wouldn’t believe it for if you met her, she’s as quiet as a mouse. I kid you not. If she wants to be carried, she would say she is tired. If you ask her how she can be tired since you’ve walked even more than her already, she will come up with all sorts of reasons to prove why she would be tired and needs to be carried.
Despite me not paying much attention to her in her 3 years of life, she has observed and sponged up from her learnings through her sister and her environment. She is good at putting 2 and 2 and 2 together logically and quite impresses me!
She is also Miss Bossy Boots (gosh, I swear all this is genetic and comes down the blood train from Nana) and complains about the painter painting the ceiling and making such a mess on the floor, and then when our car runs over the paint our wheels would be white, and who is going to clean our wheels. Later when we exit the car, she quickly runs to check our wheels and indeed it is white and she would tell me that I have to take the car very soon to the car wash to get the paint washed off or we would have white wheels forever!
She’s also very tarik harga. When her boy classmates says hi or bye to her, she completely ignores them and sometimes even looks away. This gets really embarrassing if said kid’s parents are with them thinking what a little spoilt brat with no manners this tiny girl is. Le sigh.
She will only layan those whom she likes and there are very, very few. I’m really not sure how she discerns her friends but I’ve noticed when it comes to adults, she is more drawn to those with gentle, soft voices much more than the booming voice types.
Oh, my little T2. Love her and yet, she drives me up the beanstalk.
I leave you with T2′s cute alphabet scribbles…..as she writes this, she sings the alphabet song over and over again to remind herself which alphabet comes next.
Honest to God, I have so many people to thank in my life over this last year but up till now have not found the time to actually do something over and above for them. To me, saying thank you ten times is still not enough to display my absolute thanks to them for them in my life and seriously, I’m always thinking about it and planning what I am going to do about it, just that the implementation part is taking the slow train to take off. It is simply because there is just too many people to thank!!!
Perhaps to make my life easier, I could purchase some dog gift baskets to those friends of mine who are absolute dog lovers as you know how happy we get when others are absolutely nice to our own children; so it should work with those who love their dogs too, right?
Then comes the others of which I could get them special Bisket Baskets to make their day. Sometimes, it’s not what you give that matters but the thought that counts. However, there are some people that I absolutely love and need to thank SO MUCH that I want to painstakingly make my own thing for them. You know, like actually spend time crafting out something special. I believe it is this that will ultimately show the person that I truly value them in my lives but heck, I barely even have time for my own kids right now, so what’s the next best solution? BUY GIFT BASKETS!!!
Who doesn’t welcome a surprise in their lives every now and again?!
Last night, I spent 7.5 hours from 10pm to 5.30am listening to someone preach about God. It was a journey that she shared and how God had saved her, and there are many such stories such as this.
Very interesting stuff.
Now if only God could cure my Mother.
They say that sometimes Miracles can happen? But you need to be clean of forgiveness and sin. And you need to have the faith. Hmm……
God. Come to me, God. Show yourself.
How many of you know God?
90% of Moms in Malaysia and now surprisingly, I’ve recently learnt, even a large percentage of Moms in more developed cities such as London and New York, are so frigging kiasu. Can you believe it? Even Moms in top private London schools (whom I personally know) are all grooming their kids to be the next scholarship winner or to ensure their kids get a place at the top 2 Universities in the UK or some Ivy League at minimum. Wow. What’s up with that?
I think they’ve got it completely wrong and the more you rob your children of their childhood, the more they will suffer in adulthood. If they’re 15, sure, they are old enough by then to realise that if they wanted something, they’d have to work hard for it; but before that, please……just let them be. It’s OK if your kids come home with 60% for Math. Don’t force them into tuition or some extra-curriculur class that they don’t enjoy. If they want it, by all means.
Moms today provide tuition for every subject under the sun, kids go for extra-curriculur activities leaving them very little or no time to just chill. Learn how to do nothing. They’re completely over-stimulated. But they will get you that 100% for every subject, OK most subjects…..They’re always asking for the iPad. My poor kids, they don’t even have TV as we cancelled Astro months a year ago.
Yes, they may end up to be that top investment banker on Wall Street earning oodles of cash, ridiculous sums, but there would be that seed of unhappiness within them. In some way or other, they will suffer. An internalised depression, the inability to preserve loving relationships, the inability to keep valuable friendships, you name it. It will all come out – the resentment from the past. The past they’ve suddenly realised they’ve missed. I know SO MANY adults to this day, who still suffer from insecurities, inferiority complexes, chips on their shoulders, attitude problems etc. They just do not know how to be happy. It’s so SAD!!!
And what for? Because they were somehow conditioned as a child into this route, not given the quality parental attention, and to break out of all this requires a lot of work. So do you really want this for your kids?
Kids should be encouraged positively and never forced in education. Allow your child to be free. Allow him or her to find his niche. Every child is a gift and every child is gifted. If it isn’t Math, it could be kite flying. Yes, unrealistic. How’s he going to make any money from kite flying? Well, if you didn’t impose all your pressures on him, perhaps he could be the world’s best kite flyer? Every child is gifted.
There was this little boy in Taiwan once upon a time who loved dolls. Everyone used to tease him, PONDAN! (in the Taiwanese version, of course). Even his own family were ashamed and used to ridicule him. What kind of a future would you have, boy, if you don’t study hard and do really well in your exams??? Well, that boy today is the fashion designer for Barbie dolls all around the world because his Mom chose to believe in him and loved him unconditionally.
Allow your children to pursue their passions and the gift will arise.
People always ask me, where do your children go to school? I tell them they are international schooled. When probed further, they ask about why I send my kids to such a demanding high pressured school?
There are many reasons why I send my kid(s) to this particular school and that is a personal choice. I have made the decision (jointly with my husband) that whilst it may not be perfect (no school is), it was the absolute best fit for my child.
I already eliminated the ‘matsalleh’ schools because I hung out there as a kid, had a few boyfriends there too, and know what the kids get up to. I also know Moms who have kids there now and the issues that they face so we decided that we did not want our kids to be exposed to such advanced methods of thinking so early on at this impressionable age. Sex should only come after 15 (after 30 according to their father) and they are to learn the traditional ways of respecting their elders. We can disagree but talking back is not allowed. Rude tones will immediately be reprimanded.
People also have certain perceptions of what a ‘matsalleh’ international school is versus a local international school and they should really just do their own research before shooting off and listening to others. A ‘matsalleh’ teacher does not mean he or she is a good teacher although statistically, I would agree that many ‘matsalleh’ teachers have proven their worth at T1′s school. They’re generally more creative and more fun. Some of the ‘matsalleh’ teachers here though are just here for a working holiday and do not possess any drop of teaching blood at all. Having said that, there are also very good local teachers and I’ve also
So what does that leave us with? Govt Schools (out of the question), Chinese Schools (the Hubs refused as he felt that at an impressionable age again, the kids spirit will be pressed) and ‘local’ International Schools. We picked what happened to be the most expensive local International School. Why? They have a 30 year track record. You just CANNOT beat experience. The schools also has so much going for it. Just speak to the graduates or their alumni and you would be impressed with their impeccable manners and helpfulness.
Of course, in every school, there are also bad hats but generally, they are not tolerated and will be put in place sooner or later, or they just leave eventually (or get expelled). As for the fees, although I hate it, I will be the first to admit that it is true value for money. The kids get so much exposure to so many things. It is truly an all round education that they get and it is criminal that this is not available to all children. No doubt, it is also a high pressured environment where kids have to do their homework, and still go for sports day rehearsals and still do projects on the side. But don’t you think this prepares them for the real world? I must say dynamic kids thrive better but quiet kids get advanced too. Win-Win. The only kids who do not thrive here are the ones who come from homes that are not peaceful and happy. I think it is the same everywhere. If the home front is not stable, the kid suffers anywhere he goes.
So T1′s school. What is it like right now?
She gets one page of homework every day for Maths which involves 5-8 questions. Every other week, she will get sporadic homework from the other subjects. But it is SO MINIMAL. She whizzes through it in 15 minutes. Sometimes, it gets a little more challenging if homework is to finish up the book review that you started at school at home. But all in all, she has no issues with her homework except for managing her schedule of due dates. She’s in a habit of doing her homework and delivering it the next day which is not necessarily the day it is due.
School food sucks (by T1′s standards anyway until she saw how the Children of Myanmar don’t even have a choice). OK, it may be decent but generally, school food in most schools suck. Even in schools that mean well, they eventually start going downhill and unless parents keep up with the complaints of the school food, they will deteriorate. Trust me, we’ve been there.
Academically, the school does push you either directly or indirectly to be the best and they do this for obvious reasons. They want recognition. This doesn’t mean that you need to allow yourself to be pushed. So if this is an issue for you, then teach your child to hold a strong wall so that he cannot be pushed under any circumstance. He will do well for himself, not for the school, and he decides how well he wants to do. For example, during the World Math Games, if your child was doing well at school in the midst of the competition, the teachers might ask for him to stay back later so they finish up the competition and can win for the school (and for himself too). But what if the Mom wanted her child home now, at usual dismissal time? In a case like this, it is the onus on the Mom to stand her ground and bring the child home. Sorry, Mr School, your International Math Competition is not important to me so I would like to have my child back, please. Of course, if the Mom wanted to child to shine and win, then by all means let him stay on. Little things like that are happening all the time at school.
Sometimes, things don’t work, and again this up to the parents to be on the ball to make that complaint and follow it through. Many Moms I know only know how to complaint but they do not do a damn thing about it. If your daughter says the school toilet seat is broken, it is not difficult to call the school to get it fixed, is it? Or, is it? Why can’t we all take responsibility for ourselves instead of always pushing the blame onto others? Can we all be less selfish and help one another? Mothers have no idea what the schools bend over backwards to do for the students and only know how to complain, complain, complain…….bitch, bitch, bitch…….but do nothing about it. If only they ran the school. They would then realise how they cannot meet every parents expectation and for that, I commend T1′s school for doing what they think is best FOR THE CHILD.
Right now, T1 is exposed to Chess class (plays for the school), athletics, swimming, movie-making classes, gymnastics, dance classes as her non-academic subjects. She also gets an interesting assembly every week where a lesson will be shared, whether it be stories from the Principal or invited distinguished guests or a video presentation (this week it is to celebrate the French art & film festival). From time to time, the school invites professionals in their fields to stay with the school for a period of time to impart their expertise to the kids, such as bringing down a world renown opera singer to tutor the kids, or bringing an expert gourmet pastry baker, or dancer or whatever. These international successes visit the school to share their skills. The kids get to participate in many, many events (sometimes too many!) whether it be the performing arts (they have loads of performances throughout the year, a very rigorous programme indeed), sports, charity or otherwise, such as visits to the local book store or visits to the ruins of Rome. They think of everything. And to think they only take 2 weeks to practise for Sports Day and yet come out with an outstanding show…….the kids are conditioned to take the pressure. Burn out? For some, quite possibly, but that is exactly why you need to keep your kids grounded. Don’t let them participate in every single thing that is on offer. Keep a healthy balance. For T1, because she considers all this fun, she wants to go for everything. We don’t allow it though because we don’t have the man power to bring her to every single activity and besides, she needs to chill.
So imagine piling all that extra stuff to a kid’s schedule and then you have the academics still to manage, it’s tough going. But only if you want to score 100% for all your subjects.
Last week for Geography, the kids had to fill a pail of water and carry it outdoors to the guard house and back to experience what life was like for some children at other parts of the world who had to wake up early in the morning to go fetch water for their families usage. The kids had plenty fun and whenever someone spilled some water, they’d be teased that their family would get less water that day. Experiential learning.
This Sunday, we have to attend some charity walk in Publika to get T1 a better grade for Geography. I kid you not. If the child does not do well academically, there is opportunity to make up for a better grade by doing your homework well or by attending this charity walk, for example. T1 already got more than 90% for her Geography. *moan* And of COURSE, T1 MUST attend this walk or we wouldn’t hear the end of it. Ok, all for a good cause. I’m right now trying to get her to skip sports day, haha.
So education. Sorry for being so long winded. It’s holistic. For us, T1 goes to school to get exposure to everything around her that school has to offer. She learns how to deal with difficult students, difficult teachers, she learns about loyalty, responsibility, accountability, helping and sharing, team work, confidence building, competition. She’s learning tons and she’s loving it. She only moans about the homework but heck, one page??? She should try Chinese School.
We have a plan to travel round the world with the kids and that is probably the BEST lesson for the kids. Travel to see the world, see how fortunate they are. See how people come together. To open their eyes and be aware. To care and to respect. To do something brilliant in making a difference and to rise above it all.
That is what I want in my children’s education.
How many of you know the Tupperware brand?
Honest to God, I’ve always heard about it but never bought any myself. Why? I have no idea. Never been invited to any Tupperware parties, for one, and never had any opportunity! The first time I’d ever received a Tupperware product was when a friend came to visit with some cool Tupperware tumblers and a Harrods bag and that was exactly when I thought, wow! These Tupperware stuff…..they’re pretty good quality, huh?!
And since then, I’ve never seen Tupperware anywhere else because you cannot find them at the malls, can you?
Recently, we received a set of Tupperware for Kiddies and man, the kids went wild! They were fighting over the new Tupperware sets and mind you, there was quite a few products to go around! They eventually made a deal to share and half went to T1 and the other half went to T2. I did tell T1 though that these products were actually meant for toddlers, and was she a toddler? Nuh-uh. But she still wanted them, kind of like a kid in mid-life crisis such as the old Grandpa man who wants a young chick from high school.
The Tupperware for Kiddies range had a name – Tupperware TwinkleTup, it was called, and within it was a set for kids aged 18-36 months called TwinkleTup Kidz (which T1 quickly claimed for herself) and the TwinkleTup Totz for 6-18 months.
The range is very colourful and bright which is just perfect for kids. I mean, my kids loved them even though they are big buffaloes already. OK, T2 is still a kid who qualifies but it goes to show, doesn’t it, how attractive it is to kids even at 8 years of age?
I noticed that it was too difficult for T2 to open the food tupperwares herself as they were sealed tight. However, it is what it is because if you want air to get in, then you have it loose but if you want it air tight, then it has to be tight. Thus, an adult would need to help her to open it. She absolutely loved the water bottle though. I’m willing to put my money that it is because the water flows well. That girl is so fussy and impatient that the moment there is a struggle with a water bottle, she stops drinking. With this TwinkleTup tumbler though, she drinks like a fish. Yay!
And just this morning, she woke up and went straight to her bottle and drank and drank and drank. Yay! Previously, she’d resist drinking and if asked to, would take one sip. So, wow!
The food containers are air tight and keeps food well so I’m very pleased with the range for kids.
TwinkleTup from Tupperware – If you want to purchase the sets, it is RM57.20 for the toddler range and RM66.30 for the older range. Very reasonably priced, if you ask me. I still up to now cannot get over how much T2 would drink from her TwinkleTup Tumbler! And not only that, the tumbler can be manipulated by T2 by herself (she can open and close it easily) and for that, she has asked that we CHANGE her school tumbler to this instead. I’m really happy about this that she is drinking so much more than before. Truly.
Honest to God, that water tumbler is God sent. It is really very well made. Curiosity got the better of me and I tried it. It does flow very fast and that is why my T2 loves it, no need to suck so hard……so if you’re interested in getting the set, please go like the facebook page of Tupperware to find out how you can make your order. You won’t regret it!!!
Thank you, Tupperware! I mean it. Looking forward to more of your products!
I always wonder how I manage to do so much sometimes but always wonder too why the frigging work NEVER ends. Why? Why? Why? If I retired, would it be the same? And the answer to that is a sounding yes, because it is ingrained in my type-A psychotic personality that I just have to keep busy all the time! But a part of me really, truly wants to retire. We need to put a stop to this at some point. I want to travel the world and actually discussed this with a good friend last night but he said I should only do it during the school holidays. Bah. How conventional.
If you know me, you’d know that I’d be game to pull my kids out of school for a few months, put a knife to the Hub’s neck and say, “LET’S GO. NOW!!”
So perhaps we start small and do our world expedition every school holiday first. Gosh, which year would we actually complete it then? There are only so many holidays in a year……Pffft.
My work desk is piled up with paper. My emails are trailing unread. I need another of me. That’s what I need. Someone who can trail blaze as fast and as varied the tasks that I take on. If only.
5th May 2013 – I hope you are ALL going to the polling station that day. If you are not, please ask yourself why.
Recently, I had an interview with the media and we were discussing the fact that some of the construction in Malaysia are not only illegal but there is actually a train running with passengers that has not been certified safe. My safety manager (an expat with many years of experience in train safety) told me about it and said he wanted to write to the media to inform them but after pondering, he decided against it. I told him, it would’ve been a waste of time anyway. And true enough, the media confirmed it. They would not be allowed to publish such things.
So as it stands, there are people out here in this country who have sued the parties involved for certain accidents that have happened yet till now remain unresolved. All this go unreported. And I know personally of one girl whose leg got hurt in an unsafe train who no longer even knows who she is suing as the operators and owners have changed and changed again.
The MRT train construction is rife right now and it is a big mess. Speak to the people within it and you will realise that many do not know what is really going on. Many of the expats who work here have given up. They just tow the line and do the best that they can but they are all under pressure.
Take Tok-Tok for example, he too is under pressure. It is not easy being a puppet. It really isn’t. Just imagine if you get put into positions and then get threatened. You have to say what you have to say or else. It’s incredulous. You will not understand until it happens to you.
Like me, for example. It is all well and good for me to say that I will FIGHT it. But until my own kids are put at stake and scary things happen that are too high risk for me to play with anymore, perhaps I too will cow down to the pressure, if only to protect my family.
It sucks. Malaysia sucks. I love my country but the powers that rule suck. I’m sorry, but they really do.
So if you’re a business man right now, and the current Government is doing good for you, I understand why you’d want to keep them in power for your own selfish reasons. But please think a bit further and think of the future generation. Please do the right thing and stop thinking of making your millions that those in power have promised you.
Please vote for a better Malaysia.
If everyone of you do yoru little bit, together we can force a change and together we can build a better Malaysia.
I just heard that in some schools, they have a coin snake initiative where kids bring as many coins as possible to create a snake and they try to create the longest snake coin, all in the name of charity. In a rich school, parents would go to the BANK to withdraw loads of coins to make the snake coin. In a poorer school, they would use their spare change. In some schools however, they use the morgan dollar!
Can you do it? We all know men can!!! But can women do it? I’m sure there are women who can but most women tend to link emotional attachment to sex. Would you not agree?
So. Have you ever done it? Sex without attachment?
I am wondering how many Moms who are stuck in their mundane mid-life crisis are game to go out and get fucked by a hot, swelled MAN?! Muahahaha……
I’m not talking about me but I’m just saying……
So for the longest time, I’ve had this idea to slow down…….and I promise you, it’s happening. Slowly but surely. I don’t work weekends anymore. I used to. I don’t sleep 3-4 hours unless I really have to. I sleep 5-6 hours. I eat more healthily despite still enjoying my sugar cravings. Baby steps, yeah?
I was planning to go on a yoga retreat but missed it because I was too busy to book it. I also missed taking a yoga course to do teacher training. But you know, it’s never too late for anything. That will be in my retirement plan. Baby steps. I need to go get the best yogitoes soon.
Slow down, girl…..
Even my own BOSS at work tells me to slow down.